The ACTU is seeking a $26.60 a week pay rise for 1.6 million award workers in the national wage case which starts today before a full bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in Melbourne.

ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said: “A decent pay rise is needed to help reduce growing inequality in Australia.”

“The minimum wage is currently $448.40 a week. If the claim is successful, it would raise the legal minimum wage to $475 a week or $12.50 an hour.”

“The ACTU’s case is based on evidence that minimum wages are currently too low for award workers to maintain a decent standard of living and that there would be no adverse economic impact from the pay rise.”

  • “Independent research by the University of NSW that workers on the
    minimum wage cannot maintain a modest standard of living – single people
    need an extra $66 a week and a family of four needs $180 a week
  • “ABS data showing half a million workers families – families
    whose main source of income was wages – had a cash flow problem and were
    unable to pay electricity or phone bills, 60,000 people went without meals and
    36,000 were unable to heat their homes.”
  • National accounts figures showing company profits are ‘now the highest
    ever recorded in Australian history’.
  • “Previous safety net adjustments (ie rises in the minimum wage, have had no adverse impact on the economy and with the current conditions of hight growth low inflation and unemployment below 6%, this years economic circumstances are even better than last year’s.”

    More Information

    Andrew Watson’s Opening Address To The 2004 Minimum Wage Case – it’s time for low paid workers to share in Australia’s economic prosperity argues ACTU Senior Industrial Officer Andrew Watson.

    Visit the ACTU’s Minimum Wages Campaign area – contains a Minimum Wages media kit, past media releases on mimimum wages, the ACTU submission to the AIRC plus ACTU policies.